Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another job

Right now, I am working full time, going to school, and swimming laps three times a week. It feels like there is a lot on my plate. School seems really intense because the classes tend to meet only 2-5 times, but for 3-8 hours each time and sometimes after I've already worked a full day. I have had to get up at the crack of dawn every weekend day to get a good lap swim time. (I'm resisting the 5 AM swims on weekdays, but I might have to try those out, too, just to see what works best with everything else I have scheduled.) I'm trying out different Y facilities and different times to see what works the best with my other obligations, but those super-early weekend mornings have been the times when I could have my own lane and of course, those are the best swims. I had a great swim today--a lane all to myself for fifty full minutes. I can't do a flip turn, but starting today, I decided to never let my feet touch the bottom of the pool and at least grab the side and push off and keep going at the end of every lap. It definitely kicked the workout up a notch. Thus far, I remain the fattest person in the pool every time and I watch many wheels turn when I can swim faster or longer than many others who are present--and frankly, I'm starting to get a kick out of it, unless it's one of those jerks that look at me like I smell bad (and funny thing, those jerks are never the ones who drag their happy asses out of bed for the early-morning sessions). The staffer who opened the facility door this morning said, "Good morning, folks! I see all the SERIOUS people are here." It was just a joke, but one that made me feel really good.

What seems to be helping me stick to my routine isn't only the financial consideration of the Y dues being auto-deducted as I wrote about last time, but the fact that I think of this as another job--something I have to schedule in three times every week, no matter where I have to drive or what time I have to go.

My weight is changing in fractions of pounds, but not by much at all. I am trying not to focus on this, and I am still in the frustrating stage where my skin is getting looser and the skin on my stomach is preventing me from wearing smaller pants. The loose-skin-creeping-down-the-thighs thing is still happening too and really sticks in my craw. Swimming is great because of the toning aspect, so I'm glad it's my exercise of choice, but having ugly loose skin where I didn't even seem to have excess fat before is *really* damn annoying. I think about plastic surgery all the time and then I feel shallow for thinking about it all the time. I even think about having it on my eye bags and then I feel incredibly shallow and vain for thinking about it. I was telling a friend of mine about this the other day and I said, "I don't know why I keep harping on it. It isn't going to make me young."

"Is it really about being young?" he asked.

"No," I responded, "it's about me not feeling repulsive." The depth of honesty in that response surprised even me. (And that's what it IS about.) This amazing discussion followed about how I had always felt like people only tolerated the way I looked because I was a good person (and then I don't feel like a good person some of the time, either). I own just how incredibly screwed up that sounds--because it is. (It's not fun to feel it, either, believe me.) I have hunches where it all originated--I've read things, I've had therapy. One of my friends is convinced I have body dysmorphic disorder, but it goes far beyond body image and weight--when I feel sick/vulnerable, I feel ugly. I blogged about it at some length in "Compliments" (September 2009). It would be nice not to care about all that or have it be a factor or even a passing thought, but I do and it is. All I can do is keep going and, I guess, cut myself slack for unnecessary mental gymnastics. If only they burned calories.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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